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Bounce in Bowyer's step with second at Bristol
RELATED: Johnson prevails at Bristol " Race results BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Clint Bowyer's career revival was in full swing here Monday at Bristol Motor Speedway, with the Stewart-Haas Racing driver finishing second in the Food City 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. It was Bowyer's best result since joining the four-car operation before the start of the 2017 season. In a race that was delayed one day by rain, Bowyer could see but could not catch eventual race winner Jimmie Johnson in the waning laps of 500-lap affair. The seven-time champion was a tick of the stopwatch ahead at the finish line, earning his 82nd career victory and further cementing his status as one of the series' greatest drivers of all time. Seventh when he brought his car to pit road for the final time during a caution on Lap 464, Bowyer restarted ninth for the final push. It wasn't long before he was battling with Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson for the lead. Then it was only Johnson out his front windshield. "It's Jimmie Johnson," Bowyer , 37, said. "You're just … you try everything you possibly can and I was starting to do some pretty desperate things with brakes and my line and stuff like that, and then you just realize -- your mindset quickly changes, and you're like, 'all right, let's put it in perspective here; we've come a long way, it was a long day, and second place is probably a good run for us, and we should be happy with that. We shouldn't hang our head about it.' " This was no finish created by smoke and mirrors -- Bowyer and the No. 14 team, led by crew chief Mike Buggarewicz, earned every position picked up on the high-banked half-mile oval. And there were plenty to be collected. Bowyer started ninth on the 39-car grid but quickly found himself the last car on the lead lap. "Way too loose," he said. "(We) just missed it." Then, after racing his way inside the top 10 and staying there, a pit road speeding penalty on Lap 326. "Mike made some great adjustments (and) the pit crew was on their game all day long … gained spots almost every time and then I lost them all back on pit road speeding," Bowyer said. "Went to the back again, and then drove back up through them." The decision to take four tires on the final stop was crucial. "I think the 48 (of Johnson) was the other one (to take four tires) and he won the race, so the right strategy was there," Bowyer said. "The team effort was there. You know, that's what a weekend is all about. It's just been this long since I've won a race and here is pretty special. It would have been pretty cool to be over there in Victory Lane." Bowyer has finished 13th or better in seven consecutive races and Monday's runner-up effort edged out a third-place run at Auto Club Speedway for "season's best" honors at this point. In 2016, driving for the now defunct HScott Motorsports, he had no top-five finishes and just three top 10s, numbers he has already exceeded. Pleased with a runner-up, but disappointed just the same. "Been that way my whole life," said Bowyer , who has eight career victories but none since 2012. "Since I was about 5 years old. "You struggle and struggle and struggle for a year and a half .. and hell, next thing you know you're being greedy about (finishing) second. "That's just the way racers are and the way it's always been. (But) having a ton of fun and working hard and seeing the results is gratifying for this race team." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Bowyer : 'You'd think Jimmie would get tired of winning'
Clint Bowyer expresses frustration in finishing second to Jimmie Johnson at Bristol, but he still hasn't lost his sense of humor.
Cassill bites off more 'than I can chew,' Bowyer burns Jones
Editor's note: Every Friday during the season, "Tweets You Might Have Missed" presents eight of the best NASCAR-related tweets from the week. Follow @NASCAR 1. When your wife snoops your Twitter pic.twitter.com/757z0XlPDf — landon cassill (@landoncassill) April 10, 2017 2. Let me guess, you kept it on rookie mode the whole time? https://t.co/pxPAPfw0aG — Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) April 11, 2017 @erik_jones . @Erik_Jones nope, I’m totally new at Halo but I don’t like to lose to people who haven’t started shaving yet. pic.twitter.com/4cYdUOg627 — Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) April 11, 2017 3. Less then 24 hours ago my feed suggested the beard was bad luck... Must be the glasses then. https://t.co/HVGcw4w70P — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) April 10, 2017 The secret ingredient to victory - beards. Beards and then sunglasses. #NASCAR #IndyCar pic.twitter.com/PFH6n8W5j7 — nascarcasm (@nascarcasm) April 9, 2017 4. RETWEET THIS TWEET ❗️ @landoncassill has agreed to be our gate greeter on race day Sunday and give away a hot pass if this gets 1,500 RTs pic.twitter.com/SadFrqctGG — Chicagoland Speedway (@ChicagolndSpdwy) April 10, 2017 5. With 27 days 'til the #GEICO500 , we've discovered some VERY important video footage of a sight rarely seen. cc: @RCRracing pic.twitter.com/3MZAryEi26 — TalladegaSuperspdwy (@TalladegaSuperS) April 10, 2017 6. Dog sorry cat people your weird face it. https://t.co/V1PVxLfXBv — Ty Dillon (@tydillon) April 10, 2017 @tydillon you a cat or dog person? — Josh Berger (@joshbberger) April 10, 2017 7. Awkward hug dare number one... The rule was that I wasn't allowed to disengage from the hug. This one lasted a while. pic.twitter.com/zHecoVaXt1 — Matthew DiBenedetto (@mattdracing) April 11, 2017 8. Had a blast with my amigos @kylepetty and @RutledgeWood in my beautiful city! pic.twitter.com/wf1LP10MXG — Daniel Suárez (@Daniel_SuarezG) April 11, 2017
Speeding penalty foils Larson at Bristol -- but he still put on a show
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Richmond BRISTOL, Tenn. – Kyle Larson's No. 42 Chevrolet was incredibly fast on the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway during Monday's rain-delayed running of the Food City 500. Unfortunately, it was a bit too fast on pit road, too, and the misstep changed the team's pit strategy, and likely cost the Chip Ganassi Racing driver a shot a second victory through eight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races this season. Sixth in the final rundown, the 24-year-old Larson put on quite a show right up until the end of the race. "Yeah, I knew I gave the race away there," Larson, who won earlier this season at Auto Club Speedway, said of the infraction which came on Lap 422 of the 500-lap race. "I was surprised that I was able to line up with an opportunity there at the end. We lucked out taking two (tires), and then the 78 (of Martin Truex Jr.) sped and it lined us up fourth (for the final restart)." Larson, the points leader and pole winner (the latter coming when rain forced officials to cancel qualifying on Friday), dominated the opening 125-lap Stage 1 Monday, leading every lap. He was nearly as invincible in the second stage, leading 77 circuits around the .533-mile oval before finally yielding the point to Truex. Larson ran in the top five for much of the final 250-lap stage and was second when he dropped onto pit road following the race's eighth caution period. The speeding penalty sent him to the rear, but he was 12th when a final caution flag flew for an incident involving Kasey Kahne (Hendrick Motorsports) and Paul Menard (Richard Childress Racing). Larson was one of a handful of drivers able to run both the high and low lines around Bristol seemingly picking his spots and picking off cars at will. Fifth on the final restart, he quickly made his way to second and was closing on leader Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing), when Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick Motorsports) and Clint Bowyer (SHR) began running down the two. "I thought maybe if I could get the top going quick and get by Kevin, I could get the win," Larson said. "But I think even if I was able to get into the lead, I don't think I would have won because Jimmie and Clint were way faster than I was. They were a straightaway ahead of us, I think, at the checkered flag." Johnson took the win, his 82nd , with Bowyer earning runner-up honors. Harvick, Matt Kenseth (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Joey Logano (Team Penske) completed the top five. "I think I speed on pit road every time I come to Bristol," Larson said. "So I've got to clean that up." Larson has five top-five and six top-10 finishes this season. Chase Elliott (HMS) finished seventh and trails Larson by 27 points. </p>
Cain: Familiar spark returns for Bowyer at Stewart-Haas
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Martinsville " Full schedule Clint Bowyer's smiling again, making jokes and most importantly, repositioning himself back among NASCAR's group of race favorites. Since taking over the No. 14 Mobil 1 Ford for retired NASCAR champion Tony Stewart, Bowyer's reeling off the best finishes he's had in two years -- including a season-best third-place finish at California's Auto Club Speedway last week. Things are looking up for the 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series runner-up. One of the brightest personalities in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage, Bowyer's high wattage presence was noticeably dimmed a bit in 2016 driving for an under-funded, under-achieving team as he waited -- under contract -- for his seat in the 2011 championship-winning No. 14 upon his friend Stewart's retirement. With only three top 10s compared to 13 finishes of 25th or worse last year, Bowyer was clearly taking one for the team and doesn't like to look back, only forward. RELATED: Bowyer's career statistics " See how Bowyer got ready for Daytona Other than maybe championship-winning Jimmie Johnson, there was no one more ready for the final checkered flag at Homestead. As far as Bowyer was concerned, legitimately high expectations were reset immediately. And that's the mode of operation now. "It's been an OK start to the year," Bowyer said last weekend before his top-three California finish. " Obviously, you always want to be better. It's solid, but we've got to get into the top 10. This is a top-10 organization and race team, and anything less than that needs to improve." He made good on that demand 24 hours later with a hard-fought, well-raced showing in Southern California. Asked later what his boss Stewart had to say about the uptick, Bowyer just grinned, "Good job." RELATED: Heck, yeah! Bowyer's back But, he clarified, "Tony wins a lot of races. He's won a lot of races. Anything less than a win, you know ... he expects that. And I love that about Tony. "You know, obviously I know he's proud. He was happy with that. But that's what you want in an owner. To have that instilled in everything, in your DNA, I mean, this is the way I was raised. Anything else but a win is a bad day. You are miserable with anything less than that. "It's just the way we're wired as a race car driver from 5 years old and on. The problem is, is everybody else on that racetrack is wired the same way. So there's really only one guy happy and everybody else is pissed at the end of the day, is what it boils down to." All indications are that it's been a great fit for Bowyer at Stewart-Haas, and that has provided another element of confidence to boost Bowyer's expectations. He was teammates with Kevin Harvick at Richard Childress Racing early in his career and is longtime friends with Stewart, making this transition easier off-track. The translation, he expects, is high quality on-track. "I love the atmosphere, the culture, the people, they're just racers,’’ Bowyer said. "There's no fluff and buff, no smoke and mirrors. There's just racers who grew up doing what I do. Even the engineers seem like they have a racing background. Nowadays you'll meet engineers who never were a part of it, just extremely intelligent. Seems like they're all in it to win it and that goes all the way from the tire changers to the top. It's all you can ask for." Given the top-level equipment, proven team and fresh start, Bowyer reiterated last weekend that he fully expects to win a race this season, perhaps several. It's a better talking point, a legitimate goal and overall quality chance to remind everyone that he's championship-caliber. Title-worthy. His eight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins have come on all kinds of tracks from the Sonoma, California, road course to the Talladega Superspeedway to the Richmond short track and Charlotte 1.5-miler. There's no doubt what Bowyer can do. It's just getting back in the saddle again, so to speak. And on a fast horse. "It's just the opportunity you've been waiting on," Bowyer said. "Everybody knows the situation. You know, this opportunity, this is something I signed up for a year and a half ago. I've been champing at the bit to be with an organization like this, to have an army of people behind you like this, the teammates, the sponsors we have, the manufacturer in Ford, all of that. "It's the total package at Stewart ‑ Haas Racing, which is why they've won a championship and win all these races that we see. That's what you thrive to be a part of. "Finally got my opportunity to be there." And he's making good.
Clint Bowyer leads final practice at Martinsville
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Martinsville " Full schedule for Martinsville MORE: Final practice results " Best 10-lap averages Clint Bowyer led Saturday's final practice at Martinsville Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ahead of Sunday's STP 500 (2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Bowyer turned a fast lap of 93.863 mph around the .526-mile track in his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. Defending race winner Kyle Busch was second in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at 93.567 mph. Jamie McMurray (93.530 mph, No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) was third in the 50-minute session. Brad Keselowski (93.525 mph, Team Penske No. 2 Ford) and Ryan Newman (93.511 mph, No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet) rounded out the top five. Kyle Larson, last week's winner at Auto Club and the driver with the top starting spot for Sunday's race, was 14th at 92.951 mph. Keselowski leads Practice 2 Practice 2 results Keselowski topped Saturday's first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session with a fast lap of 94.406 mph. The driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford has yet to win at Martinsville but has two runner-up finishes in the last four races at the .526-mile track. Newman (No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet) came in second (94.092 mph) for the 55-minute practice session, followed by Martin Truex Jr. (93.835 mph, No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota) in third. Joey Logano (93.835 mph, No. 22 Team Penske Ford) and AJ Allmendinger (93.729 mph, No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet) rounded out the top five. Nine-time Martinsville winner Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) finished seventh (93.604 mph). &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Bowyer on top-three finish, SHR opportunity: 'It's incredible'
Clint Bowyer scores a third-place finish at Auto Club Speedway and acknowledges that it is nice to be back out front.
Junior annoys in zen room, Bowyer can't sleep, more tweets
Editor's note: Every Friday during the season, "Tweets You Might Have Missed" presents eight of the best NASCAR-related tweets from the week. 1. Couples Massage: to the lady I annoyed in the zen room. If cell phones aren't allowed my robe wouldn't have pockets. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) February 14, 2017 2. I saved % on Valentine's Day this year by switching to single — Alex Bowman (@AlexBRacing) February 14, 2017 3. Got some new @YETICoolers to travel with but it seems that Keelan has other thoughts of what should be in the bag.. pic.twitter.com/RYPLdcW5pC — Kevin Harvick (@KevinHarvick) February 16, 2017 4. Off-season training regimen comes to a end... @PaigeKeselowski has me training with 2 hp today on honeymoon 750hp Friday @DISupdates pic.twitter.com/viehEdsHyZ — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) February 15, 2017 5. My 5:30 wake up alarm. Even on a Saturday??? Come on man! pic.twitter.com/Jw5Bc6fOrV — Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) February 11, 2017 6. 7000ft was the place to be this morning coming home! pic.twitter.com/BC4ZC7vGPY — Chase Elliott (@chaseelliott) February 12, 2017 7. Thank you @tacobell for the goodie bag. We made it ma! If you remember my prank on the interns last year, it's featured on #tacobellclipshow pic.twitter.com/tMupx7iArB — landon cassill (@landoncassill) February 15, 2017 8. On my way to @KernRaceway and we passed under a . That's good luck right!? pic.twitter.com/nPUkgj9mx4 — Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) February 11, 2017
See the complete series of Clint Bowyer : Behind The Wall
BUY TICKETS: See the races in Atlanta The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season is the start of a new chapter for Clint Bowyer as he moves to Stewart-Haas Racing to replace the retired, three-time champion Tony Stewart as the driver of the No. 14 Ford. A three-part mini doc-series for NASCAR Digital and Facebook, follows Bowyer's journey for the season-opening Daytona 500. Watch all three parts below.
Bowyer 'confident' in ability to win Daytona 500 for SHR
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Clint Bowyer is typically a high-wattage personality, so when he arrived in Florida on Tuesday to tour the Naval Air Station Jacksonville to help promote the upcoming Daytona 500 , he was absolutely in his element. The sailors and airmen were excited to meet the Stewart-Haas Racing driver and he was ecstatic to talk about his legitimately high expectations when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season gets on track at Daytona International Speedway later this month. "I'm probably as excited for the Daytona 500 in particular -- forget the season starting -- as I've been in a long time," Bowyer said Tuesday from Jacksonville. "I'm as confident in my chances as I've been in a long time. "I think our cars are looking really good. They've been in the wind tunnel, the guys have been working really hard and we're actually going back to the wind tunnel to perfect them even more. "So the commitment to the plate racing is something I haven't seen in a while and I'm really excited about the horsepower. Doug Yates has been over to the shop and I've been out-run by his horsepower at these restrictor plate tracks for a few years now so I'm looking forward to reaping the benefits of having one of those under the hood and I think that's how you're going to win this race." Bowyer , 37, has certainly been close enough to hoisting the sport's biggest trophy. He has finished in the top-10 in half of his starts on the superspeedway, including four of the last five Daytona races. He has three top-five finishes including fourth-place runs in the 2009 and 2010 Daytona 500 . Last year Bowyer even salvaged a ninth-place run in the July Daytona race despite driving for an underfunded team, as he waited for his ride at Stewart-Haas to become available in 2017. And now after a season of mostly frustration -- only three top-10s in 2016 -- driving for a lower-tier, now-defunct team, Bowyer will at last take over the steering wheel from his good friend, three-time Cup champ and team owner Tony Stewart in the famous No. 14 Mobil 1 Ford. And for the first time in years, Bowyer feels like all systems are a go. "I'm not blowing smoke when I say I really am confident about my chances at that race," he said about the Daytona 500 . "I've gotten close several times at that race. It's one of those tracks you feel like, 'Darn it, I'm gonna win this some day.' I think the cars are looking good in my favor. The equipment I've got underneath me is the best I've had in a long time and the commitment to winning not only (at Daytona) but everywhere is something I haven't seen in a long time and I'm looking forward to having that to my advantage." As for his visit to Florida this week, Bowyer enjoyed his time spending a day with servicemen. And he offered a heartfelt reminder that fans can show their appreciation for these men and women too -- donate $3, $5, or $10 to the Ticket for the Troops programs and Daytona International Speedway will match the money in its efforts to send military members and their families to the "Great American Race" on Feb. 26. And Bowyer is hopeful that means they will have a chance to see him again -- standing tall and celebrating loudly in Daytona's Victory Lane. "I really don't know what I'd do if I won the Daytona 500 ," Bowyer said. "But this is one of the best opportunities I've ever had and the confidence is as high as it's ever been. "It felt good to talk racing again, talk about the season and talk to the media. The biggest thing having these interviews kind of tells me is maybe the media is thinking I do have a chance at not only running well but winning a few of these races. I'm looking forward to getting down there to Daytona, getting in the saddle and working with my teammates and coming up with a good package and a good plan to put ourselves in contention." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;&lt;span _rtetemp=&quot;spchk&quot; style=&quot;background-color: #ffffaa;&quot; _rtespchksugg=&quot;Lt"alt"ult"flt"let"lit"lat"lot"ltd"t&quot;&gt;am&lt;/span&gt;p;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;